Life Insurance with Epilepsy
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UPDATED: Jul 9, 2019
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Are you searching for affordable life insurance with a history of epilepsy? In this post, I will go over what questions you will be expected to answer and the rates you can qualify for if you have epilepsy. As a consumer, you should never assume that your condition is uninsurable.
Preferably, you should seek a broker who can match you with the company that can underwrite you as an overall person instead of looking at one condition you may have. Having a pre-existing condition poses a risk to the insurer, which means you will struggle more than others who are healthy to get coverage. Let’s take a look at epilepsy and life insurance.
What Is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects brain activity which results in seizures, unusual sensations or loss of awareness. The symptoms are different from one patient to another. While some stare blankly during a seizure, other may twitch their body parts for a few minutes. There are treatments to control the condition with prescriptions or surgeries.
What Are the Insurance Companies Looking for When Insuring Individuals with Epilepsy?
If you’ve read this blog in the past, you should be aware that every health ailment poses a risk to the insurer and consequently calls for a set of questions you are required to answer. I prefer to share this knowledge so that you will have a basic idea of what they ask, why they ask, and to be prepared to provide the medical information to back up your claims.
I find it to be a transparent and honest way of conducting business in the life insurance arena, which for most, is still misunderstood. When buying life insurance with epilepsy, you will need to answer the questions below:
1. Date of First Diagnosis
This is a typical question that helps the underwriter in assessing your overall insurability. For instance, if you were diagnosed within the past six months, your application will be postponed. It’s too risky for the insurance company since they have no information on your condition’s history, how it’s managed, or complications. Only after two years or longer will you be able to apply.
2. Which Type of Seizure Have You Had?
This question has the most bearing on the underwriter’s decision. There are a few types of seizure:
- Complex Partial Seizure: Also called focal impaired awareness seizure. It usually starts in a single area of the brain called the temporal lobe. The seizures are short, and the individual isn’t aware of their surroundings and may also become unconscious.
- Tonic-clonic Seizure: Is also called convulsion or its old term “grand mal”. Tonic means stiffening, and clonic means rhythmical jerking. The individual loses consciousness and falls, the arms and legs may jerk extremely fast. The person may also bite their tongue or inside of the cheek. The seizure usually lasts one to three minutes.
- Absence Seizure: Is also called “petit mal” seizure. It causes a short period of blanking out or staring into space. It begins on both sides of the brain, and it usually affects a person’s consciousness with instant recovery. The seizure typically lasts for about 10 seconds or less.
- Simple Partial (Myoclonic) Seizure: A person doesn’t lose consciousness during Simple Partial Seizure. Only one side of the brain is affected by this type of seizure, but it can spread to other areas. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, therefore it’s moderately easier for a doctor to distinguish which side of the brain is tied to the seizure.
3. Indicate the Frequency of Episodes and the Date of the Last Episode
The seizures’ frequency and the last time you experienced one will also impact your rates remarkably. The insurer is mostly concerned with death due to an accident. Epilepsy makes you prone to having more accidents, and therefore present a high risk to them. The fewer episodes you have had and the longer duration (preferably over five years) since the last one, the better your rates will be.
4. Are You on Any Medications?
Epilepsy can’t be cured, but with 70% of patients, the right drug can control seizures. Make sure you follow your doctor’s order not only for your own sake but also for getting better life insurance rates. Anytime you don’t, you pose an elevated risk that usually turns into a declined application. The longer you have used the medication, the less interference in switching the drug, the better it is from the underwriter’s standpoint.
5. Have You Been Hospitalized for Treatment of Epilepsy?
An accident related death is a notable concern for the underwriter. Anytime you have had to visit the hospital or ER for seizure is a call for concern, and it shows that your epilepsy isn’t under control for the time being and will usually result in a postponement of coverage.
What Other Questions Will the Underwriter Ask?
Getting a life insurance policy is a daunting process which involves many questions. If it weren’t, most companies would go bankrupt. Questions about your current health and driving history and even your profession are just a few on the list. Below are other issues they will ask:
- Current age
- State of residence
- Height and weight
- Income and liabilities
- High-risk hobbies (if any)
- Current and past health history
- Family history
- Foreign travel
- Smoking habits
- Alcohol habits
- Driving history
- Criminal history
- Prescription usage
What Rate Class Can I Qualify for If I Have Epilepsy?
I will share a few scenarios and the rates you can expect here as long as epilepsy is your only health condition. Keep in mind any other health condition, such as having type 2 diabetes, being overweight, or having high blood pressure, will further increase the prices.
Complex Partial & Generalized Tonic-Clonic
- Within six months of diagnosis will result in postponement
- More than six seizures per year will be turned down for coverage.
- Two years since last seizure: Table D
- 3rd through 5th year: Table B
- After five years, you may qualify for a Preferred rate
Simple Partial (Myoclonic) Seizure
- Within two years of last seizure: Table B
- After two years, you may be eligible for a Preferred rate
Metabolic Brain Disease Status Epilepticus
This refers to a single seizure lasting more than five minutes or two or more seizures in within the same period without the individual returning to normal recovery mode.
- Within five years of last seizure: Declined
- After five years, you may get individual consideration
Life Insurance with Epilepsy Sample Monthly Rates
40-Year-Old Male Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
40-Year-Old Female Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
50-Year-Old Male Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
50-Year-Old Female Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
60-Year-Old Male Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
60-Year-Old Female Nonsmoker on a 20-Year Term
When buying life insurance with a history of epilepsy, you want to make sure, to be honest, and transparent with your broker and the insurance company. Failure to do so will result in the carrier rescinding your coverage and refusing to pay the claim.
If your epilepsy is under control, and you haven’t had a seizure in over five years, you are in the right place to qualify for better rates. If you use the quote engine on this page, make sure you choose the regular health class.